The former chief executive of Tuesday Morning Corp has filed a discrimination complaint against the retailer, claiming that she was removed after her disclosure of suffering from breast cancer. Kathleen Mason was fired in June and has filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
On Friday, Tuesday Morning said, “The company believes that any claims relating to her termination are without merit and intends to vigorously defend any such claims.”
However, Rogge Dunn of Clouse Dunn LLP, who is representing Mason, said the attitude of the company towards Mason changed after learning of her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. He said, “The board made it clear she was not being fired ‘for cause’ and the company wanted to retain her expertise for another 11-and-a-half years. One has to question why she was removed from her job.”
According to other reports, Tuesday Morning had fired Mason after being pressurized by Becker Drapkin Management LP, which is one of the top shareholders of the Corporation and desired seats on the board. In a letter to the board dated June 5, the firm said, “Mason has led an extraordinary destruction of shareholder value in stark contrast to the success of Tuesday Morning’s peer group.”
Later on, two Becker Drapkin nominees were given seats on the board. According to market reports, over the last seven years, Tuesday Morning shares have lost nearly 90 percent of their value. Mason had been the president and CEO of the company since July 2000.